Severn Trent to seek shareholder approval for climate change action plan

Severn Trent has become one of the first UK companies to put its climate change action plan before shareholders and seek a non-binding advisory vote on the Company’s approach at its AGM on 8 July 2021.

In recent years the Midlands-based water and waste PLC has increasingly considered how it can both mitigate its impact on climate change and adapt to the challenges it faces in bringing the sustainable provision of services to customers.

Severn Trent has made a number of key commitments which lie at the heart of its climate change plans:

  • In May 2019, it made its Triple Carbon Pledge – committing to net zero carbon emissions, 100% renewable energy and an all-electric vehicle fleet, by 2030.
  • In March 2020, to support its climate change plan and broader sustainability agenda, it announced £1.2 billion of investment by 2025 in environmental initiatives including planting 1.3 million trees and boosting the biodiversity of 5,000 hectares of land in our region.
  • In January 2021, it submitted several project proposals to Ofwat to invest hundreds of millions of pounds as part of the Green Recovery initiative which, if approved, would enable Severn Trent to deliver new low carbon water sources, create thousands of new jobs and enhance river quality and flood resilience in our region.
  • This week, it submitted its proposed Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions targets to the Science Based Targets Initiative, committing it to deliver significant reductions in its Greenhouse Gas (‘GHG’) emissions by 2030.

“We believe it is important that shareholders have the opportunity to engage with the plans we have developed, which we will set out in full ahead of the AGM,” says the company.

Net Zero Pledge

Severn Trent has been accredited by the Carbon Trust since 2009 and during that time it has consistently reduced GHG emissions from its operations, leading to a total reduction of 57% to the end of 2019/20.

Over the same period, it has increased its generation of renewable energy to the equivalent of 491 GWh per year, or 51% of its own energy consumption.

As part of its commitment to credible reduction in GHGs, consistent with a 1.5 degree global warming scenario, it will:

  • Reduce its Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 46% by 2030, in line with the Science Based Targets Initiative’s guideline
  • Reduce its Scope 3 emissions by engaging with over 70% of our supply chain to take action on their own emissions

Liv Garfield, Severn Trent Plc CEO, said, “As a water company we take care of one of life’s essentials, so a healthy environment is vital to the long term sustainability of our business. Taking positive action to mitigate climate change and ensure we are resilient to its impact is at the core of that goal. We have set ourselves bold ambitions which we believe will benefit all our stakeholders over the long term, which is why we’re pleased to offer this engagement opportunity to our shareholders at our upcoming AGM.”

Severn Trent will provide updates on our climate change action plan throughout 2021, starting with the Annual Report and Sustainability Report to be published in June ahead of its AGM on 8 July 2021.

At a Capital Markets Day on 24 September 2021, it will also outline its detailed roadmap to Net Zero. The Company will seek an advisory vote every three years on any material changes made or proposed to the climate change action plan.

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